Just like Kate Middleton and Amy Schumer, I suffered from Hyperemesis Gravidarum during my pregnancy, which led to losing weight due to the severe morning sickness. It produced some of my most traumatic experiences in life.
Three-score pounds This is the total amount of weight I lost during both of my pregnancies. I lost 41 pounds in my first and 22 pounds in my second diets. While I received congratulations and accolades for my weight loss while carrying my children, it was neither deliberate nor healthy. Up to 3 percent of pregnancies are affected by hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), which I had. It results in incapacitating nausea and vomiting, dehydration, extreme exhaustion, and, ultimately weight loss.
Since there is a significant probability of recurrence, I recall feeling instant terror when I learned of my second pregnancy. After enduring HG during my previous pregnancy and losing so much weight, I doubted I could endure it again. So many thoughts rushed through my head: “How do I plan to raise my daughter? Am I strong enough to continue? What if this time it’s worse and the baby doesn’t survive?”
I took a deep breath and remained optimistic while preparing for the worst. I told my husband the news, and he experienced similar emotions. Despite this, he answered with a hesitant smile and a few half-hearted words of support.
My wife and I are now delighted parents of two wonderfully healthy children (ages 3 and 1) who did not experience any harmful consequences from my weight reduction or malnutrition. My pregnancies were the two most traumatic experiences of my life.
The Reality Regarding Hyperemesis Gravidarum
HG is far more severe than common morning sickness. My nausea persisted from morning until night. I felt nauseated at the mere notion of food or a sip of water. On the worst days, excessively deep breathing induced uncontrollable waves of acute nausea and gagging. Despite this persistent feeling of nausea, my empty stomach constantly grumbled, pleading for nourishment.
On many days, my husband would get home from work to find me lying in bed, unable to do anything other than crawl to my en suite bathroom every 20 to 30 minutes to vomit.
Showering frequently made me feel like I was going to pass out; bathing made me feel as though I was battling gigantic waves at sea, and lifting my arm to brush my hair or teeth was too much movement for me to bear.
Several nights of my first pregnancy were spent in the hospital receiving intravenous fluids. The majority of these visits entailed nurses attempting to implant an IV into my vein. I was so parched that it took them a lifetime to discover a feasible solution.
While I was fortunate to have an OB-GYN who was familiar with HG and knew the best way to manage my symptoms, the nurses and doctors I experienced during my emergency room trips were significantly less knowledgeable on the matter. An admitting nurse once told me, “Everyone gets morning sickness, and it’s not a big deal.”
On another occasion, a physician suggested I get acupressure wristbands and crackers in the morning to battle my nausea. If you’ve ever suffered from HG, you know that these solutions are ineffective.
The physical effects of HG are dreadful, but the psychological effects are frequently equally debilitating. Depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress (PTSS) are potential repercussions, according to studies. Fortunately, I did not experience any of these during my first pregnancy, but my social isolation was palpable.
I was forced to resign from my position when I was 20 weeks pregnant and had missed countless days of work before that. Several dependable friends and family members labeled me a drama queen. One told me that I should stop complaining so much since all I wanted was to be like Kate Middleton. As I ceased responding to phone calls and text messages due to a complete lack of energy, some individuals completely disregarded me.
Managing and Enduring Complications
A year after the birth of my youngest kid, I am still hypersensitive to odors and frequently endure acute, unexplainable vomiting. But this is nothing compared to what I experienced during my second pregnancy.
On the recommendation of my gynecologist, I began taking my medications early in my second pregnancy. Doctors routinely prescribe many drugs to treat the symptoms of HG. FDA-approved Diclegis is the most popular medication for the prevention of nausea in pregnant women.
Doctors may also prescribe antiemetic medications such as Zofran and Reglan. These drugs are both known to induce constipation. This constipation can become persistent and lead to hemorrhoids when combined with factors such as pregnancy hormones, dehydration, and a low-fiber (or no-food) diet. Or, in my case, a hemorrhoid that would end all other hemorrhoids.
I was ultimately admitted to the colorectal section of my local hospital for surgery after multiple hospital visits and a minimum of fifteen medical students and residents visiting my treatment rooms to “have a look at this thing.” My brief procedure was agonizing. I was unable to obtain general anesthesia since it posed a risk to the unborn child. A spinal block, which is delivered in the same manner as an epidural, was my only alternative. I was instantly rendered immobile below the waist.
While the sensation finally returned to my rear end following surgery, the pain I felt was unlike anything I’d ever felt before. The nurses pumped me full of fluids, antiemetics, and potent analgesics for the next four days while I was hospitalized. I required six weeks to fully recover after returning home.
Getting Appropriate Medical Treatment
Early in my pregnancy, I recognized the signs of hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). After the first trimester, chronic nausea and dehydration, frequent vomiting, and difficulty gaining weight typically result in a loss of more than 5 percent of pre-pregnancy weight.
My mother, who experienced it while carrying me, immediately urged me to visit the doctor. My family doctor prescribed Diclegis and recommended me to an OB-GYN, who played a pivotal role in my fight against HG. She suggested appropriate treatments for my symptoms, including Zofran, bed rest, and any meal I could stomach, whenever I could stomach it. She never judged me or put me down; instead, she behaved as my ally.
She was always forthright about her concerns regarding my illness, including its impact on my electrolytes and kidney function, as well as its potential impact on my unborn child. I discovered that my inability to acquire sufficient weight during pregnancy could result in premature birth and low birth weight, which can cause permanent health issues. But she described the risks with care and compassion, without inciting terror.
Unfortunately, many pregnant women have difficulty finding medical practitioners who comprehend HG as well as my OB-GYN did. If you’ve been diagnosed with HG or suspect you may have it and are unhappy with the care you’re receiving, please consult this directory of HG-friendly physicians. It is managed by the HER Foundation, whose mission is to raise awareness of the disease and assist persons with HG with information and support.
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